Month: February 2023

Happy Valentine’s Day

Two Kangaroo Island kangaroos holding paws.

Love comes in all shapes and sizes ❤️ Happy Valentine’s Day!

Reading Seneca’s Letters to Lucilius

Statue head from Carl Mille's antique collection at Millesgården, Lidingö
Statue head from Carl Mille’s antique collection at Millesgården, Lidingö

I’ve started reading Seneca’s Letters to Lucilius, the complete collection translated by Richard M. Gummere; the dog-eared paperback edition I had read and re-read earlier was only a selection of forty letters out of the 124 he wrote.

Seneca has always fascinated me (and many others), writing so eloquently about how to live a good life, only concerned with your character, etc. – only to live his life quite differently. Many brand him a hypocrite, but I think he was merely human, struggling like all of us. I think he tried. Behind the scenes, he managed the empire during the first years of Nero‘s reign, an uninterested Nero happily leaving him to it, and he did a pretty good job together with Burrus. One wonders how things would have gone with him as a ruler. Would he have become a philosopher emperor or given in to his less, shall I say, flattering sides? We’ll never know.

It’s hard to imagine the insecurity of life at court, especially at Nero’s. Assassinations, even of close family members (Nero had his mother put to death, for example, and he’s also suspected of murdering his wife), executions or orders for suicide, and exile were an everyday business. Seneca could see Nero sinking into madness a little more every day, fearing he’d be next. He was almost ordered to commit suicide by Caligula and escaped it only because Caligula thought he was dying (of tuberculosis); later, he also spent eight years in exile in Corsica under Claudius. Maybe he thought power and riches would protect him from the whims of the capricious rulers. But those would only threaten or become the envy of an emperor.

He was forced to retire eventually, and curiously enough, Nero let him go after refusing him twice before. He left his riches to Nero, retired to the country, read philosophy, and wrote these letters, among other works. Unfortunately, it didn’t save him in the end. Accused of being involved in a plot to assassinate Nero, he was forced to take his own life.

The Letters may be his attempt to be stoic about his fate (pun intended). He had no riches or power anymore, but a Stoic wouldn’t need them. Or maybe the distance from the court provided the perspective he needed. It certainly made it easier for him to live a little closer to his Stoic ideals.

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Favorite Photos: January 2023

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  2. Favorite Photos: February 2023
  3. Favorite Photos: March 2023
  4. Favorite Photos: April 2023
  5. Favorite Photos: May 2023
  6. Favorite Photos: June 2023
  7. Favorite Photos: July 2023
  8. Favorite Photos: August 2023
  9. Paris Is Always A Good Idea
  10. Favorite Photos: October 2023
  11. Favorite Photos: November 2023
  12. Favorite Photos: December 2023
  13. Favorite Photos: January 2024
  14. Favorite Photos: February 2024
  15. Favorite Photos: March 2024
  16. Favorite Photos: April 2024
  17. Favorite Photos: May 2024
  18. Favorite Photos: June 2024
Close up of two Kangaroo Island kangaroos holding paws
Kangaroo Island kangaroos (Macropus fuliginosus fuliginosus) 

Since I was in Australia, my favorite photos are all from Australia this month. Starting with this mother-and-daughter pair of Kangaroo Island kangaroos.

The KI kangaroo is a sub-species of the Western Grey Kangaroo (Macropus fuliginosus). They’re pretty different from the Western Grey kangaroos because of the long period of isolation from mainland Australia. They’re shorter and darker and much cuter if you ask me!

Portrait of a Kangaroo Island kangaroo young demale
Kangaroo Island kangaroo (Macropus fuliginosus fuliginosus) 

A closer look at the daughter. Isn’t she cute?

A koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) sitting in a tree
Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus)

We’re in Australia, so there should be a koala, too. They are cute and fluffy, but wait until they hear what they sound like. Go ahead, search for koala sounds on YouTube!

Standing Kangaroo Island kangaroo male (Macropus fuliginosus fuliginosus)

Kangaroo Island kangaroo male (Macropus fuliginosus fuliginosus). This one was quite tall and showed plenty of muscle, so I kept my distance 😉.

Standing Kangaroo Island kangaroo female

A portrait of the mother kangaroo from the first photo. They are way cuter than regular kangaroos, don’t they, these Kangaroo Island kangaroos?

So cute that I have hundreds, if not thousands, of photos featuring KI kangaroos: resting, watching, playing, nursing, jumping … I have to keep myself in check to only publish a few!

I hope you enjoyed these photos, and no worries, there will be more fluffy koalas and cute kangaroos featured here soon!

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